Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Garden (09/07/06)
TITLE: The Garden of God's Love.
By Peter Kelly
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The older man answered, “Someone once asked me to prove that God exists so I turned the tables and asked them to prove He doesn’t because the observable evidence points to intelligent design. You see there is nothing within our sphere of experience to prove that complex, interactive organisms simply appear and begin interacting with each other in an intimate way. Logically, there has to be a cause, whereas the counter argument requires a great leap of faith. It relies heavily on assumptions and unproved theories. An intelligent design is obvious but unacceptable due to its supernatural component. To my mind, it is simply a lack of focus due to bias. People see what they want to see!”
The younger man leaned back, watching the huge fluffy snowflakes swirling at the window while enjoying the comfort of the old, plush armchair. His reverie was broken by the older man’s voice.
“Look out the window and tell me what you see”
Not sure what was required, the younger man answered perfunctorily, “I see snow and a big old oak tree that’s as bare as a baby’s bottom.”
“You’re not wrong,” was the reply, “but you’re not right, either.”
The young man looked puzzled but kept his silence, allowing the old man to explain.
“I look at the same scene and I see the wonder of creation.
I see a mighty oak tree that was mature before I was born and will no doubt be here long after I am gone. It serves to remind me that time is God’s creation and how it is allotted is His decision. Eternal life is His gift, where we spend it is the result of our free will, our choice – another of His gifts.
I see the wonder of the seasons reflected in its starkness, the seasons that allow for regeneration and rebirth in a regular cycle.
I see the bare branches that allow the sun’s warmth to reach me in the winter and yet are covered with leaves to shade me in the summer. Those same leaves provide protection for the robin and her clutches that bless my world each spring. They provide a playground for the baby squirrels that entertain me with their chatter and crazy antics as they instinctively collect acorns, hiding them as a hedge against leaner times and also ensuring that more oak trees will sprout from the forgotten ones. And in the fall, the leaves cover the ground with their rich nutrients as they decay, ensuring the life cycle continues.
I see the branches that hold my hammock, my place of cool refuge on those hot humid days, the same branch that once held the swing that kept you entertained for hours as a child.
I see the strong wood that has been used by humans for millennia, providing everything from utensils to mighty sailing ships that helped them discover their world.
I see a symbol of the diversity of God’s creation, an organism that lives to provide the oxygen I need to survive every minute of my life while interconnecting with so many other life forms, which in turn are connected to so many others. Where you see a bare oak tree, I see God and His garden.
As hard as I try to see blind chance as the author of this complexity, I cannot. I just don’t have the faith that kind of belief demands. ”
Finally, the old man was silent. The young man shifted a little uncomfortably as he reflected on his grandfather’s words and wisdom. The garden would never quite appear the same to him again, he thought. He was not yet ready to concede to the older man’s reasoning, but then again, he was not as sure of his science as he had been a few minutes ago.
Regardless of what both of them thought, the garden would continue its cycle of life and complexity, from the mighty oak to the smallest blade of grass, creating a canvass that very definitely bears the name of the author.
For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. Romans 1: 20.
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